I’ve always been a writer. I come from a long line of them, starting with my grandmother. Sara Criss was a newspaper reporter during the Civil Rights movement, telling the world about the racial issues happening in her Mississippi town … from a tiny kitchen, outfitted with a teletype and an even smaller darkroom, located just beneath the attic stairs.
Then you have my mother and my aunt – two sisters who’ve published nearly a dozen books between them, focused on historical preservation and the occasional ghost story that comes along with life down South.
I feel indebted to these women for surrounding me with books and words at an early age and instilling in me a ridiculously nerdy love of grammar. I've been a full-time freelance journalist since 2007, and these days, I balance my time between New York City, Alabama and Southeast Asia. I balance my work between writing and photography. And I report most often on loud bars, stiff booze, worthy food and - when I'm really lucky - the entertaining people I meet along the way.
A few of my all-time favorite travel stories have included a small herd of endangered bison that live the Bialowieza Forest in Poland, eating 50-cent bowls of liver noodle soup with a Michelin-star chef in Hong Kong and chatting up Todd Carmichael. He holds the fastest time crossing Antarctica on foot and also happens to be a damn fine coffee roaster.
It's not always easy to make yourself standout in the sea of freelance writers. In an effort to do so, I strive to exceed deadlines, remain available to my editors via email and phone and keep an organized and ever-growing network of contacts.
I've been an annual attendee of Travel Classics West for the last seven years, and I'm a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. I also attend and participate at annual beverage conferences like Tales of the Cocktail, Portland Cocktail Week and the former Manhattan Cocktail Classic, in order to stay on top of trends and educational networking opportunities in the food and beverage industry.
It's a digital age. I realize that editors need travel writers to bring them well-rounded articles that not only capture and convey a sense of place and time for readers in words, but also provide stunning images. With that in mind, I purchased a Nikon in 2010 and enrolled in photography courses at New York's School of Visual Arts. What started as a means to expand upon my services as a writer has become one of the most rewarding hobbies I've ever known.
You can find out more about me on this site. Thanks for being here.